ST. PETERSBURG, FL—The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired infielder Ryan Roberts from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for minor league second baseman Tyler Bortnick. Roberts is expected to join the team tomorrow in Baltimore, with a corresponding move to be made at that time. He will wear No. 19.
Roberts, 31, hit .250 (63-for-252) with six home runs, 34 RBI and six stolen bases in 83 games for Arizona this season. He played primarily third base (60 games, 57 starts) and also spent time at second base (eight games, six starts) and left field. He is 6-for-18 (.333) as a pinch-hitter.
The right-handed hitter has spent parts of seven seasons in the majors with the Toronto Blue Jays (2006-07), Texas Rangers (2008) and D-backs (2009-12). His best season was 2011, when he batted .249 (120-for-482) with 19 home runs, 65 RBI, 25 doubles, 18 stolen bases, 66 walks and a .341 on-base percentage. He ranked fourth among National League third basemen in home runs. During the 2011 NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers, he hit .350 (7-for-20) with two home runs and six RBI, including a grand slam in Game 4.
The Irving, Texas, resident was drafted by Toronto out of the University of Texas at Arlington in the 18th round of the 2003 June Draft. He was named the D-backs winner of the Major League Baseball Players Association 2011 Heart and Hustle Award for his passion, desire and work ethic both on and off the field. He is active on Twitter (@RRoberts14).
Bortnick, 25, had spent the entire season with Double-A Montgomery, batting .253 (88-for-348) with four home runs, 48 RBI, 18 doubles, eight triples and 23 stolen bases in 95 games. He owns a career .289 average and .396 OBP over four minor league seasons. Entering the season, he was rated as having the Best Strike Zone Discipline in the Rays system by Baseball America. In 2011 he was a mid- and postseason Florida State League All-Star for Class-A Charlotte after leading the FSL in steals (43) and OBP (.428). Bortnick was a 16th-round selection in the 2009 June Draft out of Coastal Carolina University.